Grant recipient

Rebecca Louise Miller

Deciphering the sulfation code of polysaccharides – a molecular code orchestrating myriads of essential biological interactions
Grant amount: DKK 10,000,000

Rebecca Louise Miller says: “Heparin is a widely used anti-clotting drug. Although most biologic drugs are produced using recombinant technologies, heparin persists as a product purified from animal tissues. A cell-based system for production of heparin would eliminate risk of supply shortage and contamination, which have had serious outcomes, as well as bypass the use of animals and lengthy purification processes. Production of recombinant heparin in mammalian cells requires engineering the heparan sulfate biosynthetic pathway, which consists of over 20 biosynthetic enzymes. My project aims use genetic methods and advance technologies to engineer and install heparin biosynthesis in a cell line. We have reached a stage in this endeavour to predict that we can design and produce improved heparin without the most serious side-effects. The project thus holds promise for sustainable, better, and safer heparins.”

Rebecca Louise Miller, who is of British nationality, has been an associate professor (non-tenured) at the Center for Glycomics at University of Copenhagen since 2021. She further states: “I am in a unique position with direct access to the world-leading glycosaminoglycan discovery platform, as well as beyond state-of-the-art instrumentation and the uniquely suited environment at the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics”.

Rebecca Louise Miller
Rebecca Louise Miller
Associate Professor, Copenhagen Center for Glycomics, ICMM, University of Copenhagen